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2,000-year-old toilet seat unearthed

Posted on Thursday, 28 August, 2014 | Comment icon 26 comments

A row of Roman toilets with seats made from stone. Image Credit: PD
An excavation at Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland has dug up an ancient wooden toilet seat.
The perfectly preserved artifact represents the only discovery of its kind ever made and would have been used by Roman soldiers manning a fort situated along the wall in the 2nd century.

The ancient lavatory is a particularly rich source of artifacts because at the time, anything dropped down a Roman latrine is unlikely to have been retrieved. The seat itself was found in a muddy trench that had been used to dump rubbish.

"We know a lot about Roman toilets from previous excavations at the site and from the wider Roman world, which have included many fabulous Roman latrines," said Dr Andrew Birley.

"But never before have we had the pleasure of seeing a surviving and perfectly preserved wooden seat. As soon as we started to uncover it there was no doubt at all on what we had found."

Source: BBC News | Comments (26)

Tags: Toilet, Roman, Hadrian's Wall

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #17 Posted by H132 on 29 August, 2014, 13:09
Slightly alarming communal shi**er .... I mean if they was a wooden divider that has not survived perhaps, then ok.....but open plan like that, they must have been a r s e cheek to a r s e cheek sat there....eeeww lol That's not the actualy toilet. They just used a different image for copyright reasons. Click the BBC link to see the real one.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Silent Trinity on 30 August, 2014, 8:06
That's not the actualy toilet. They just used a different image for copyright reasons. Click the BBC link to see the real one. Ah, well that makes my empathy for the s h i t t i n g situation of the Romans that little easier lol.
Comment icon #19 Posted by toast on 30 August, 2014, 8:36
Any newspapers found as well?
Comment icon #20 Posted by Misanthropic on 1 September, 2014, 15:41
Wooden? Splinters in the bum don't sound too fun!
Comment icon #21 Posted by ancient astronaut on 1 September, 2014, 15:47
When you gotta go, you gotta go.
Comment icon #22 Posted by PersonFromPorlock on 1 September, 2014, 19:09
We rural ancients know there is no colder wind than the one that blows up out of a privy hole. I shivered just to look at that thing.
Comment icon #23 Posted by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR: on 3 September, 2014, 11:48
The ancient lavatory is a particularly rich source of artifacts I'm just glad this sentence didn't end after artifacts when I read the article. Haha.
Comment icon #24 Posted by kmt_sesh on 4 September, 2014, 1:07
I'm just glad this sentence didn't end after artifacts when I read the article. Haha. Coprolites! Exciting stuff.
Comment icon #25 Posted by EllJay on 4 September, 2014, 1:24
I'm still waiting for them to dig up this guy, and his toilet, in Pompeii. Still sitting their on his "throne" - frozen in time - thinking; "-What is that rumbling sound I hear?? Is it last nights spicy dinner "coming", or is it something else?? Hmmm...."
Comment icon #26 Posted by Dracona15 on 11 September, 2014, 14:25
wow. just wow.

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